Business Ethics

Our Vision

To ensure our employees have a clear understanding of what is expected of them in conducting business in the right way with a common set of values. We expect our business partners to abide by standards that are compatible with our own.

Our Approach

Vitec’s Code of Conduct clearly sets out our values, beliefs and behaviours and has been communicated to all employees and business partners. We train our employees on key issues including bribery and corruption, inside information, conflicts of interest and good governance, and promote a whistleblowing service as a back-up control.

Code of Conduct

Our Code of Conduct (“Code”) provides clear guidance to our employees on how they are expected to behave towards colleagues, suppliers, customers, shareholders and on our wider responsibility to the communities within which we operate.

In 2015 our Code was relaunched in seven different languages and was distributed to all 1,800 employees with copies also provided to all new employees on joining the Group. Our Code is accessible by employees via the Group intranet and can also be found on our website. Employees are expected to comply with our Code which sets out our approach to business integrity including an express prohibition on bribery and kickbacks, guidance on gifts and hospitality, conflicts of interest, books and records, competition, share dealing, respect for the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, compliance with anti-slavery legislation, respect for the individual and privacy, diversity, health and safety, environmental sustainability, business partners, charitable donations and a clear prohibition on political donations. Any violations of the Code are to be reported to local management or the Group Company Secretary for investigation.

We are currently in the process of recommunicating our Code to our major suppliers, customers, agents and distributors and expect our partners to abide by similar values to our Code. In 2016 we will be working with our partners towards making a statement that our organisation and supply chain is clear of any human trafficking or slavery.

Code of Conduct

> Code of Conduct English - September 2015.pdf
> Code of Conduct Chinese - September 2015.pdf
> Code of Conduct French - September 2015.pdf
> Code of Conduct German - September 2015.pdf
> Code of Conduct Italian - September 2015.pdf
> Code of Conduct Japanese - September 2015.pdf
> Code of Conduct Latin American Spanish - September 2015.pdf

 

Anti-bribery

We have continued with the development of our employees’ understanding of anti-bribery and corruption as reflected in our Code. All senior new starters with the Group have completed an online training module including the Board of Directors, Operations Executive, senior management and customer-facing employees covering anti-bribery and corruption. All participants were required to complete the module and to take a test on the issues covered by the training. We also ensured that the management conference in March 2015 covered this issue with our senior management team. 

Agents and distributors have formal agreements in place which clearly prohibit bribery and set out our expectation on behaviour and values. We carry out due diligence on major customers and suppliers with a more detailed screening of backgrounds using a third party provider focusing on reputational risk. We have standardised due diligence with a common third party questionnaire and thorough reputational screening.

Whistleblowing service

In 2015 we recommunicated our independent whistleblowing service that is run in conjunction with Expolink to all employees with a letter from the Group Chief Executive and a letter from Expolink explaining the service to ensure that it remains visible and understood. Posters are prominently visible at all sites and available on the Group intranet with all literature and communications translated into several languages.

This whistleblowing service enables any employee or third party who feels that the normal reporting channels through line management are not appropriate, to report confidentially on any issues around dishonesty, fraud, bribery, malpractice, bullying, unfair treatment, unsafe working practices or other Code contraventions.

In accordance with a clearly agreed documented procedure, all such reports are notified to the Group Company Secretary, the Group Chief Executive and the Chairman of the Audit Committee, and are investigated independently by senior management who are not connected to the report. The outcome of investigations is reported to the Chairman of the Audit Committee. All whistleblowing reports are independently investigated with remedial action taken where necessary.

In 2015 we had several incidents reported through the whistleblowing service, all of which were fully investigated. This clearly demonstrates it is a service which is visible within the business.

Contact details for the service are as follows. It is noted that any such calls will be treated confidentially and you can remain anonymous if you so wish.

 •           UK – 0800 374199

 •           USA – 1877 533 5310

 •           Italy – 800 783776

 •           Germany – 0800 182 3246

 •           France – 0800 900240

 •           Netherlands – 0800 022 9026

 •           Japan – 00531 78 0023

 •           Singapore – 800 4411 140

 •           China – 00 800 3838 3000 / 10800 441 0078

 •           Costa Rica – 0800 0440101

 •           Israel - 1809446487

 •           Brazil – 0800 891 8807

 •           Hong Kong – 800 930770